How to save & take care of a kitten and feral cats - an advocacy tool kit

How to Build an Outdoor Shelter

Fact Sheet|


Keep Cats Comfortable in the Cold

There are cats living outdoors across the nation and around the worldeven right in your neighborhood! These community cats are pros at living outside and thrive in their outdoor homes.

Sometimes, like when winter comes and cold weather hits, cats appreciate your help. You can lend a paw, just as millions of others have done, by creating warm outdoor shelters for them.

Even though cats are resilient, providing an outdoor cat shelter, where they can sleep, relax, warm up, and stay safe, can help make life outdoors more comfortable.

Building an outdoor cat shelter is cheap, easy, and your feline friends will love it!

Here’s how to do it:

Watch our Cat Tips: DIY Outdoor Cat Shelter video on YouTube.

What You’ll Need

  • A large plastic tub (approximately 30 gallons)
  • A small plastic tub (approximately 20 gallons)
  • Box cutter
  • Straw (NOT hay)
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Hair dryer
  • Thin slab of Styrofoam
  • Plastic flowerpot (Choose a flowerpot that does not taper too much at the bottom, because this will be turned into an entrance later.)


This is just one of the many types of outdoor cat shelters you can provide. See more options for DIY and pre-built outdoor cat shelters at


As featured on Fox5 Good Morning DC!